Eidsvoll Constitution of 1814

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eidsvoll Constitution of 1814


the constitution of Norway; adopted on May 17, 1814, by the Constituent Assembly in the city of Eidsvoll.

The Eidsvoll Constitution was adopted after the Danish king had been forced to renounce the Norwegian crown; in accordance with the Treaties of Kiel (1814), the crown was to pass to Sweden, but Norway was preparing to resist Sweden’s plans for annexation. The Eidsvoll Constitution proclaimed Norway an independent state, and it recognized a parliament known as the Storting to be the supreme representative body. The members of the Storting were to be chosen by direct election, but with age, property, and residence qualifications for voting; the body was given broad legislative and financial powers. The king was granted executive power over the country’s administration, defense, and foreign policy; he could not dissolve the Storting, however, and although he could supervise legislation, he had only qualified veto power over the parliament’s decisions. The constitution introduced the freedoms of speech, press, and enterprise, and it proclaimed the inviolability of the person.

Norway was united with Sweden in 1814, but in accordance with the law that confirmed this action, Sweden pledged to recognize the Eidsvoll Constitution, as amended to allow for the union of the two countries. The constitution is still in force in Norway, although some changes and amendments were made in, for example, 1905, 1935, and 1946 (seeNORWAY: Constitution and government).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.